With just a few days to go to the start of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the 132nd IOC Session opened with a vibrant ceremony in the Gangneung Arts Centre, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in.
In his opening remarks, IOC President Thomas Bach highlighted the new horizons opened by PyeongChang 2018 on the Korean peninsula. “They have opened the door for a peaceful dialogue between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Olympic spirit has brought two sides together that for too long were divided by mistrust and animosity. The Olympic spirit has brought real hope for a brighter future for everyone on the Korean peninsula.”
He expressed his thanks to the President of the Republic of Korea for his faith in the Olympic spirit and thanked the leaders of the delegations from the NOCs of the ROK and DPRK, and the governments of the ROK and DPRK, who paved the way for the ‘Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration’, as well as the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee for its determination and commitment.
The Olympic spirit has brought real hope for a brighter future for everyone on the Korean peninsula.Thomas Bach IOC President
President Bach also spoke about the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 that have come to fruition: the new chapter opened by the IOC in the fight against doping; the transformation of the concept of the Youth Olympic Games; the organisation of the very first Olympism in Action Forum; the ongoing success of the Olympic Channel; and the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026.
In his official address, President Moon emphasised that PyeongChang 2018 will inspire a new generation to have hope and courage for the Olympic spirit. “PyeongChang is the very combination of our people’s passion. Korea is now ready. Honouring the promise of seven years, PyeongChang will open new horizons for the Olympic Games”.
A cultural show with amazing performances delivered the Olympic message of harmony, as people from all over the world come together in PyeongChang, united in the Olympic spirit of peace and friendship. The show featured a children’s choir made up of young children from multicultural families, K-pop singers, traditional Korean musicians, dancers and acrobats. Their performances illustrated the theme of harmony, through colour, energy and music.
Before the opening ceremony of the Session, the IOC Members were welcomed by the President of the Republic of Korea during an official reception.
On the agenda of the IOC Session are discussions about the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, the fight against doping in sport, reports on different areas of the IOC’s activities, a presentation by the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee on the final preparations for the Games, the election of a new IOC Member, and votes for positions on the IOC Executive Board.